Steel String Theory
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Steel String Theory

Band Country Bluegrass


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This band has not uploaded any videos


The best kept secret in music


"Curve in the Road"

Steel String Theory isn't just a clever name. They're an edgy, progressive, hard-driving bluegrass band for today's hip listener. The trio's multi-instrumentalists (Charlie Chamberlain, Philip Barker, Steffans Hardin) manage to produce a full sound by playing seven instruments (three guitars, mandolin, mandola, banjo, and bass).

With 17 tracks and more than an hour of music, "Curve In The Road" not only gives fans their money's worth, but it offers a broad spectrum of diversity. You'll find hard-driving vocals ("The Way You Do" and "Misery") and jazzy instrumentals ("Jalapa" and "Black Hairy Possum"), clever lyrics about trains ("Train Song") and rivers ("River Back Home"), and even catchier lyrics about less common things like the rent ("Rent Song": I ain't gonna skip a beat, but I am gonna skip the rent/Ain't gonna pay my bills, 'cause that's money better spent with you).

Instrumentals are an important part of this album, showing off some serious picking talent. "Big Burley" is a syncopated guitar/mandolin duet that moves in and out of the shadows of tone and timing. There's also a wonderful eight-minute track that has guitar and mandolin dancing deliciously with each other. With a strong international flavor, "Left At The Lurch" (adapted from Gustav Mahler's "Symphony #1") moves through an old-world chamber music mood, a Mediterranean section, an Oriental-sounding passage, a slice of Italian sunshine, and more. The tempo varies as it passes smoothly through its movements, finally picking up speed, then slowing back down again for a quiet finish.

The predominant sound from Steel String Theory is the interplay between mandolin (Barker) and guitar (Chamberlain). The brightness of the former coupled with the depth and solidity of the latter creates an uncluttered, grounded sound on which to add bits of enhancing embellishment. Definitely a modern-day bluegrass band with a solid approach to today's music. (Steel String Theory, 321 Moody Cove Rd., Weaverville, NC 28787, - Bluegrass Unlimited


"Curve in the Road" - 2005


Feeling a bit camera shy


Based in Asheville, North Carolina, Steel String Theory plays innovative, original roots music, drawing from bluegrass, newgrass, jazz, and classical genres. Bluegrass Unlimited magazine called SST "an edgy, progressive, hard-driving bluegrass band for today's hip listener."

Called "Masters of Versatility" by the Greenville Journal, SST are known for their exciting live performances, with catchy original songs, heartfelt lead and harmony vocals, and a mixture of improvised solos and intricately arranged instrumentals. The band's debut CD, Curve In the Road, is a seventeen-song journey from old time Appalachia to the front lines of new acoustic music.